US, Greek mil­i­taries to boost bi­lat­eral ties

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The chair­man of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph F. Dun­ford, ex­pressed Wash­ing­ton’s de­sire to strengthen bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion with Greece and to fur­ther up­grade the Amer­i­can base at Souda Bay on Crete dur­ing his meet­ing yes­ter­day in the US cap­i­tal with the Chief of the Hel­lenic Na­tional De­fense Gen­eral Staff, Ad­mi­ral Evan­ge­los Apos­to­lakis.

De­scrib­ing Greece’s armed forces as an im­por­tant part­ner for the US mil­i­tary, Dun­ford dis­cussed ways of in­creas­ing joint train­ing be­tween the army, navy and air forces of both coun­tries, the ex­pan­sion of ac­tiv­i­ties of the NATO Maritime In­ter­dic­tion Op­er­a­tional train­ing Cen­ter (NMIOTC) at Souda, as well as en­hanc­ing the ex­change of in­tel­li­gence. For his part, Apos­to­lakis out­lined the ini­tia­tives taken by Greece’s armed forces to pro­mote mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion in the Balkans, North Africa and the Mid­dle East, and also raised the is­sue of the con­duct of Turkey’s fighter jets in the Aegean Sea which vi­o­lated Greek air space again yes­ter­day. Two Turk­ish F16s en­gaged in mock dog­fights with a pair of Greek Mi­rage 2000s north­east and south of the east­ern Aegean is­land of Chios yes­ter­day morn­ing. Mean­while, Turkey has is­sued a nav­i­ga­tional telex urg­ing Turk­ish-flagged ships in the Aegean to be on the look­out after the Greek coast guard opened fire on a Turk­ish-flagged cargo ves­sel on Mon­day that had re­fused to stop for an in­spec­tion off the coast of Rhodes. Greek au­thor­i­ties said they sus­pected it was trans­port­ing drugs.

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